14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

Foot Isochrony in Estonian

Diana Krull

Department of Linguistics, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

The duration of Estonian disyllabic feet varies relatively little with the three degrees of quantity. This is due to the duration distribution between the syllables: the first syllable increases with the degree of quantity and the second decreases. The amount of isochrony varies with speaking style: in conversational speech, foot duration is more dependent on the degree of quantity than in list reading. Moreover, in list reading the difference in foot duration between short and long quantity is greater than between long and overlong. The present paper shows that in conversational speech this is true only for words where the bearer of the quantity contrast is a vowel and the F0 contour can constitute an additional cue to overlong quantity. In words where the bearer of the quantity contrast is a consonant, the difference in foot duration is largest between long and overlong quantity. The rhythmic pattern in oral production of poetry is similar to that of conversational speech.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Krull, Diana (1999): "Foot isochrony in Estonian", In ICPhS-14, 1063-1066.